Well, Bundi’s isn’t as popular as Jaipur or Jaisalmer, but for the fans of Rupert Kipling, it’s a city which they all would love to visit. Yes, the Nobel Prize winner author Rupert Kipling (writer of famous novels like The Jungle Book & Kim), stayed in Bundi for two years and in his words, Bundi is a beautiful city which is made by goblins, rather than by men.
Sukh Mahal, Bundi
Just 3-4 km from Bundi Palace, towards to road which takes you out of Bundi, there is a lake, Jait Sagar. Its the second lake of the city along with Nawal Sagar and this one is famous for its naturally grown lotus flowers and a palace which at its banks, Sukh Mahal.
Sukh Mahal Palace isn’t as big as Garh Palace. It’s more like a private mansion of the Bundi royal family. As per my guide, it was the summer palace of Bundi where the emperor uses to stay when he was tired of harsh summer weather.
As Sukh Mahal is built on a lake and surrounded by mountains from three side, the temperate is a bit low here. As per a few history books, I read on Bundi; Sukh Mahal has a channel of drains below where water continuously passes through, which makes the room temperature a bit cooler.
Connection with Rupert Kipling
Personally, this mansion isn’t as huge as Garh Palace, but the view from this small palace is breathtaking. No wonder Kipling stayed here for two years as a guest of Bundi Empire, and he has stated that his award-winning book “Kim” was inspired from Bundi.
Pictures from Sukh Mahal
So, there is a small ticket to enter, INR 50 or as I mentioned in my first post on 84 Pillared Cenotaph, buy a three attraction entry ticket for INR 75 which includes 84 Pillared Cenotaph, Raniji ki baori and this one (Sukh Mahal)
There is a small passage which leads to this humble palace. At the 1st floor, there are three rooms, two beautiful wall paintings, some old statues. But the real delight is on the second floor.
One its top floors (second) I saw this fantastic view of Jait sagar along with the mountain ranges of Aravalli. Now this is the view which must have caught the interested of Rupert Kipling as any nature lover will love to stay in a house which offers this view.
That’s all from Sukh Mahal and Jait Sagar Lake & from here I drove anther 5 km to visit the final site in my list if places to see in Bundi.
There wasn’t much on the net about Shikhar Burj, I mean not even a single picture of the site on Tripadvisor. So I was a bit skeptical about this place.
And I was right. Shikhar Burj isn’t a tourist site, but more of a private property of the current Bundi royal family. But nevertheless it’s an ancient structure built in the 18th century and was the hunting lodge for the royal family & their guests.
There is a signboard which warns all not to use this site as a private party place, but one can enter the premises and take some pictures, which I did.
So here are some final pictures which I took from Bundi and with this my two days trip to Bundi is finished. I do plan to write a guide on all the tourist sites, road/ train/ air connectivity, etc, of Bundi in three weeks time.
And finally a quote by Rupert Kipling on Bundi.
“It is such a palace as men build for themselves in uneasy dreams – the work of goblins rather than of men.”